With another beautiful weekend instore, I wanted to check-in with you. I know the coming days of “studying remotely” will be a particularly stressful time as your finals are fast approaching. I hope you are already planning to take advantage of the many events and workshops IVC has scheduled to help you in the home stretch.
Perhaps, you have been tuning in to watch Governor Gavin Newsom’s daily briefings or following our county supervisors in their weekly news conferences. If so, you may have heard that some further modifications were announced Thursday regarding the Governor’s “Stay at Home” order. As I have previously shared with you, our COVID-19 task force continues to meet daily to review these updates, as well as to plan for summer and fall instruction. Together, we all are working to envision the future of IVC, despite the uncertainty of many things beyond our control.
At his latest noontime update, Governor Newsom shared information on how areas can move further into Phase 2 of the state's framework for reopening. The governor said he wanted to address the state of coronavirus in California, based on the latest science, data, and public health information. The state is moving away from essential vs. non-essential workers. The governor explained some businesses could reopen as early as today with limitations.
The governor’s announcement included guidelines to allow some businesses, such as clothing stores, florists, bookstores and sporting goods shops to open their doors for the first time in nearly two months, with some restrictions. These new modifications did not include other close-contact businesses, such as dine-in restaurants and hair salons. The guidelines are part of the governor’s four-step plan to reopen the state. The first phase involved making workplaces safe for essential workers. Phase 2, part of which was rolled out at yesterday’s briefing will allow for a gradual reopening of retail business, permitting curbside operations, manufacturing, and logistics. More businesses and sectors, such as shopping malls, restaurants with seating areas, offices, and outdoor museums, will be added later during the expansion of Phase 2.
Yesterday’s announcement by the state also included guidelines for how counties can work to go farther into Phase 2. These full guidelines will be released, Tuesday, May 12. This process must begin with the state Public Health Department. Yesterday, at another news conference held by the County of Orange, Dr. Nicole Quick, County Health Officer stated that “Orange County wouldn’t be in a position at this time to go farther into Phase 2, but that the county would be working toward this.”
In the coming days, IVC will continue to actively monitor the latest updates from state and local agencies. We will all be learning to navigate our way into Phase 2. As we do, we must keep in mind the health and safety protocols that have been protecting us! The City of Irvine strongly recommends the wearing of masks outside the home. It is our hope, if you are going out, that you take all necessary precautions to keep yourselves and your loved ones safe.
Your IVC family is behind you and we will continue to be here to support you. Please take the time to enjoy a little sunshine this weekend as you begin to prepare for your finals!
Together, we are #IVCStrong.
Cindy Vyskocil, Ed.D.
Irvine Valley College